Saturday, February 20, 2016

i guess it's going to be foodstamps...,

kansascity |  Dale Dorsey, after working 33 years, is facing a 51 percent cut to his pension. He’s not facing it alone.

He’s married. Dorsey’s mother lives with them. And, having gotten a late start on a family, so do his children, one in the fourth grade and one in the eighth grade.

“This is just going to cripple my family,” said Dorsey, who was one of 750 retirees and workers who attended a town hall meeting Tuesday in Kansas City.

They came to battle massive pension cuts proposed by the Central States Pension Fund, which covers 400,000 participants, 220,000 of them retired. The fund is so short of money, it will go broke in 10 years. 

A controversial 2014 law allowed the pension to propose the cuts, many of them by half or more, as a way to perhaps save the fund.

Some at the session said that allowing the cuts — the first test of the law — meant others would follow. Two much smaller pensions also have sought similar relief under the law, and still more pensions are significantly underfunded.

“What’s happening to us is a microcosm of what’s going to happen to the rest of the pensions in the United States,” said Jay Perry, a longtime member of Teamsters Local 41 who worked for Yellow Freight, now called YRC Worldwide Inc.

For nearly two hours inside the Kansas City Convention Center, 30 speakers took their turns asking for help from Kenneth Feinberg. He’s the noted mediator who distributed billions of dollars to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and has overseen General Motors’ compensation for accidents from faulty ignition switches.

The U.S. Treasury has named Feinberg special master to decide by May whether the proposal from the Central States Pension Fund meets the 2014 law. He has held seven other public sessions, with Kansas City’s being the last. 

Those who spoke Tuesday asked him to reject the plan at least to give them and others a chance to find a less devastating solution. They said that cuts wouldn’t save the pension, that they’d still be out.
“This pension should be paid out in full until it’s gone,” said Larry Logston Jr., who said he’s among those facing a 50 percent pension cut.

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